Olympic swimming medallist appears in court over US Capitol riot

Klete Keller, who lives in Colorado, appeared during a brief hearing in Denver federal court.

Olympic swimming medallist appears in court over US Capitol riot

A five-time Olympic swimming medallist charged with participating in a deadly riot at the US Capitol has been released from custody but ordered to stay away from Washington DC until after next week’s inauguration.

Klete Keller, who lives in Colorado, appeared during a brief hearing in Denver federal court following his arrest on charges brought by prosecutors in Washington.

At the insistence of prosecutors, Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty said Keller could not travel to Washington before January 21.

After that, Keller is allowed to travel to Washington for court appearances and to meet his lawyers but he must ask for permission for future visits to see his children in North Carolina after a trip already scheduled for this weekend.

Capitol Breach Racism Protests
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol (John Minchillo/AP)

Keller was charged on Wednesday in federal court in Washington after a video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the Capitol last week.

Screenshots from the video were included in a court document charging him with knowingly entering a restricted building to impede an official government function, disorderly conduct, and obstructing law officers.

Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol during a joint session of Congress on January 6 while lawmakers met to formalise the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

Keller, 38, competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He captured two golds and a silver as a member of the 800-metre freestyle relay, as well as a pair of individual bronzes in the 400m free.

Keller’s alleged participation in the Capitol protest was first reported this week by SwimSwam, a site dedicated to covering competitive swimming and other aquatic sports.

It pointed to video posted to social media by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas, which showed a tall man wearing a US Olympic team jacket among the rioters as officers attempted to clear the Rotunda.

SwimSwam said at least a dozen people within the sport have identified the man as Keller after reviewing the video and screenshots.

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